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Juneteenth now an official Massachusetts holiday

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Juneteenth is a commemoration of the United States ending the Black sacrifice of chattel slavery.

Black lives have long been sacrificed by America and for America. Unknowable millions of enslaved Africans and the enslaved descendants of Africans were tortured to death, murdered, executed, or died of “natural causes” on American soil while their enslavement built the United States. By comparison, fewer than 700,000 American service members have sacrificed their lives in combat.

That the sacrifice by enslaved people was involuntary makes it no less noble. However, it is ignoble that we don’t honor and venerate the totality of Black sacrifice to the American experience the same way we venerate military service on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day.

It is foolish to equate the experience of enslavement with the experience of military service. The two experiences are not the common thread here; the sacrifice is the common thread and honoring the sacrifice of enslaved people does not diminish anyone’s military sacrifice or heroism. The traditional days of veneration are not being replaced; military service is but one way to sacrifice for your country and we will continue to recognize that.

It is long past time for the erased, voiceless, and nameless enslaved Africans and their enslaved descendants be allowed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any and all Americans who shed blood or life for our country.

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That the sacrifice by enslaved people was involuntary...

I realize there isn't really much distinction in the dictionary, but I tend to think of use of sacrifice being appropriate when it's done by someone who has some right of control (or ownership or self-determination) to that which is being sacrificed, and holocaust (small "h") or slaughter when it's done by someone who does not have those rights.

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Ritual human sacrifice, as we understand it in historical religious contexts, was largely involuntary, or coerced at best. I don’t think it’s a stretch to use the metaphor of America perpetrating mass human sacrifice on Africans and their descendants as a way to think about slavery in this instance.

Of course holocaust/slaughter/genocide are terms that can indisputably used to discuss chattel slavery. But to thread the needle between valorizing and honoring our dead enslaved founding mothers and fathers (with one holiday) in the same way we venerate the Revolutionary Army and people who died while volunteering or being drafted into military service (with 3 holidays) I needed a common thread. I needed the metaphor of involuntary human sacrifice so I could connect that with with the sacrifice of “giving” one’s life for the country on the battlefield.

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What about the poor people, who involuntarily had to to fight for the union cause. Because they couldn't afford to buy themselves out. This affected emigrants very much.

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Are you suggesting the horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and 246 years of government-sanctioned slavery are equivalent to the Union’s Civil War draft? It seems implausible, but by all means present your argument as to why it is so.

Also, if you are looking for an ally in memorializing and honoring drafted Union Civil War troops, I am here for it. Please present your plan to do so and let us all know how we can help.

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I am pointing out that the war in defense ofthe union, were made up by people who could not afford to buy themselves out. The decentances of the rich, who didnt fight.are probably looking down their noise of southerners and talking a "powerful brave " stance today, on the latest trendy cause.

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I am pointing out that the war in defense ofthe union, were made up by people who could not afford to buy themselves out. The decentances of the rich, who didnt fight.are probably looking down their noise of southerners and talking a "powerful brave " stance today, on the latest trendy cause.

I don’t understand how this is an argument against making Juneteenth a holiday.

And I will again re-up my offer to support whatever measure you propose to venerate “the people who could not afford to buy themselves out” of the war and died.

Any Union soldier should be honored to stand in honor next to all the enslaved people who were slaughtered by this country.

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That's how armies worked, everywhere in the world, from the dawn of society until very, very recently.

When the village elders/King/
Emperor/Leader/President/Prime Minister decided to fight, you fought.

The idea of a professional standing army staffed by volunteers is relatively new.

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cool

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It's a sign of hysteria that something most people never heard or thought of until two months ago, is suddenly a state holiday.

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The crazy thing is that more people didn't know about it. I'm one of those people. Embarrassing.

It absolutely should be a holiday.

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Juneteenth is one of myriad of dates and milestones in US civil rights history. It's mostly an effect, not as important as some of the causes of that effect.
That it remained of segregated importance is slightly more important.
...
The truly cray and far more important thing is that so many people don't know about Tulsa.

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Being from Tulsa originally, I've known about these for many decades.

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You shouldn't be embarrassed, by something you didn't know about. are you also embarrassed by not knowing about the biafran genocide or The second congo war.

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Shouldn't be embarrassed personally for not knowing this? Sure.
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However, definitely should be embarrassed and concerned that we're not teaching our own history! (Yes, I'm putting knowing our own history slightly ahead of knowing other world events)
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US History in the schools I went to covered things like slavery, US expansionism, the Civil War, Reconstruction, segregation, Jim Crow, Brown v Board of Ed, immigration, Japanese-American internment camps in WWII, voting rights, Civil Rights movement...
Lynchings were portrayed as somewhat... isolated? Fringe? Exceptions? A vast series of exceptions over decades?
Tulsa? A whole neighborhood of a city, a neighborhood of color, active middle-class, vibrant, healthy, etc... - was destroyed by its neighbors - and that is not taught in our schools!
Outrageous.

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I know about both of those things.

Recommended reading.

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Many people have heard of Juneteenth and have participated in annual observations of it. Maybe you just need to know new people....

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You are wrong. Most people have heard of it for many years. They just didn't have a fucking clue what it was about, because they didn't care to learn. Myself included.

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I heard about it from listening to Dr David Brudnoy, back in the 90's. As for your cursing, it reminds me of the the drunks in Dorchester Bars, mostly your type was harmless, but sometimes your type got extremely violent and always picked on the weak.

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My type? I used an adjective.

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...as well as the vague assertion that it's "considered something most people never heard about". You're pretty far from anything factual like "Most people have never heard of Juneteenth" and even farther from what your original point appears to have been. Just take the L.

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That really speaks more to you and your state of awareness and education than to any level of "hysteria." The "most people" that you associate with must have a really limited knowledge of history. Fortunately, a lot of people had actually heard of and even celebrated Juneteenth, and there were many other people who hadn't heard of it, but were willing to learn about it and share in the celebration. That's a sign of growth, not hysteria.

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Juneteenth becoming a holiday is not a sign of hysteria, it’s a sign that the power of Black people and people of color is growing.

Diminishing it as ‘hysteria’ is evidence that some people are uncomfortable with that growth.

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It's a sign of hysteria that something most people never heard or thought of until two months ago, is suddenly a state holiday.

guy, this says way more about you than you think it says about society

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...is individual to you. Don't assume it is widely shared.

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Will this be a real holiday. Or a phony one.
If only public employees get the day off = Phony Holiday.
If my private company employer, gives us the day off with pay = real holiday.
Any one know ?
Thank you.

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I've been waiting for someone to ask that

"Real" holiday, or just a commemmoration on the calendar?
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Next level from that will be arguments on how to pay for paid holiday. Maybe balance by deleting Columbus Day?
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Next level beyond that will be the the disrespect/kneeling and black lives/all lives arguments - that a June holiday for "all" Americans (Bunker Hill) was essentially replaced by one for one group's issue...
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... and of course, the "we already have MLK Day, that takes care of black/civil rights" argument...

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n/t

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If corporations get to define realness, then some local corporations have already taken this step, by doing exactly what you suggested: deleting Columbus Day and adding Juneteenth as a company holiday.

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Sorry - Christmas, New Years Day,Thanksgiving, Day After Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day were the holidays which are deemed ok not to go to work for most private employers.

If you are getting anymore holidays off, you must be a public employee.

Bunker Hill Day was never a real holiday with time off with some exceptions. It was only in Suffolk County (and Somerville), the irony being that Charlestown was in Middlesex County when the battle happened. Patriots Day, also known as I Think I Need to Go To An 11:00 Sox Game Day - Cough Cough, is a statewide holiday.

Look for most companies to make Juneteenth a holiday next year off and then it will slowly fade from the corporation conscience. How many people get Presidents Day, MLK Day, Veterans Day off? Not many.

All I know is that is that Bunker Hill Day next year is June 17th; a Thursday. State employees have just been gifted a 5 day weekend.

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Six sounds a bit low, even considering private sector. I say six, not the seven you listed, because most employers (public or private) don't give time for "day after Thanksgiving". You want it off, you use your vacation or personal time (or work some other holiday and trade the time).
We had eight holidays on the calendar at my (dreaded private sector) job until MLK was added some years back.

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Any school directly along the route (Wellesley, BC, BU, Berklee) has to, since the Marathon makes mobility impossible. This is likely also true for any college just off the route such as Northeastern, Wentworth, NEC, or Emerson. We always had it as a holiday at MIT when I attended that school, perhaps because many students (including me) lived across the river in Back Bay and Kenmore Square.

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Bunker Hill Day or Evacuation Day as a day off as a holiday for several years now. The change was made as part of legislation filed either at the end of Deval's term or the beginning of Baker's term.

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Works for me, if with pay. No, I never got Colon Day off from work.

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n/t

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The state can encourage your employer to close on a holiday, but the decision is up to management/company owners, not the state government.

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I don't believe there are any state or federal laws requiring private employers to give ANY holiday off, nor give extra pay if you're paid hourly. So this would be up to your employer, the same as the 4th of July or Labor Day.

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Will this holiday be like Patricks day. It was very financial benefit to me when Iwas a Uber driver, Drive drunks around Boston. Very good tips.

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Happy people don't need green beer. The occasion gets them high.

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Not to celebrate Juneteenth with some lovely stout or porter.

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I think this is great and fully support it.

I honestly think there should be a paid day off once a month for as many people as possible. Obviously Memorial Day is May, July Fourth is July, Juneteenth is perfect for June. One concern I have had with Labor Day is what I consider to be the paradox of giving office workers the day off on a day recognizing labor which in turn requires those with the most labor related jobs having to work more. I have a similar concern with Juneteenth if this holiday is just manifested as a day off for those of us lucky enough to work in government and select non profits. If we are doing this Id like to see it get the same treatment as 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. At the very least we need to make sure it's a time and a half day to discourage retailers and hospitality from using it as an excuse to have everyone work and promote a big sale.

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